Daniel Irimia, Ph.D., M.D.
|Title||Associate Professor of Surgery|
|Institution||Massachusetts General Hospital|
|Address||Massachusetts General Hospital|
Surgery/BioMEMS Resource Center, Rm #1404
114 16th Street
Charlestown MA 02129
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I am a bioengineer, trained as a physician, passionate about understanding the clinical consequences of neutrophil activities during disease. Neutrophils are the white blood cells that not only protect us against microbes, but in many instances, change their behavior and becomes detrimental. My research focuses on designing sophisticated tools to measure relevant neutrophil behaviors with the highest precision, directly from whole blood, towards better predictions, diagnostic, monitoring and treatment of in inflammation, infections and sepsis.
Recently, I found that neutrophils from patients after severe burn injuries lose their ability to pick up the shorter route through mazes towards chemical stimuli. Moreover, neutrophils from patients can sometimes move spontaneously though micron-sized channels, in the absence of directional signals. This neutrophil phenotype, never observed for healthy neutrophils, can predict, two days in advance, the occurrence of sepsis in patients after major burns. Further demonstrating the link between the defective neutrophil motility and sepsis, correcting neutrophil motility in animal models of burn injury could protect the animals from sepsis.
Overall, these observations indicate that neutrophils are key to monitoring and preventing sepsis. New tools are emerging to quantify the neutrophil phenotype in patients during inflammation, infections, and sepsis from just one droplet of blood.
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